Me, my idea, my mum

It’s a common practice for most of the entrepreneurs to think that their idea is truly awesome, the best and probably something no one would have ever thought of. This might be true in some cases and till some extent. But when you’re about to pivot your life towards entrepreneurship, where your business will be something you will be betting a lot of things on, you can’t just assume that your idea is great, it is something you need to be really sure of.

But a very interesting thing is that a good percentage – click here to help us get a better idea – of entrepreneurs won’t share their idea, at all.

This tendency can be seen in hackathons, business meetups, incubators and more. Some people will just keep their idea secret and tell the audience “I’m sorry, my idea is a secret” or “I don’t really want to discuss my idea till the time my MVP is ready at least” or sometimes even go to the extent of saying, “Haha! You want me to share my idea so that anyone can steal it and develop it. Hell no! I am smarter than that!”

But you know what, that’s probably not that smart after all. Still don’t agree with us. Let us tell you why is that.

Your idea is worth nothing until it becomes something used by people. Until then, do yourself a favor. Stop thinking that people will care. They don’t, and if they do, they won’t have time to copy it.

Ok fine, let’s keep your idea a secret and see what happens

Agrees that other entrepreneurs are not completely blind. They see the benefits of a good idea, and, business is business, so if they can get a higher benefit without you, they’ll do it.

So the first “idée recue” that entrepreneurs may have is protection. If you don’t share it, people won’t be able copy it. Woohoo! You can be the first one in the market to solve that problem and become rich. But wait, your idea is more likely to work if it solves a problem faced by other people too. So if other people are already having the similar problem, then they might be thinking about developing a solution too or might have already tried it. So how do you get out of this loop?!

Let’s not panic. You can still patent your idea, keep your own “secret recipe” out of sight, or don’t go to deep into details. It will help you feel safer and limit the risk of copying. And even if they will find out about your idea, no one will probably have the time to follow your idea instead of their own. After all, Facebook was not the first social network. So share your idea freely!

So first learning. Your idea is worth nothing until it becomes something used by people.

The second reason we see out there is that people won’t share their idea because it’s not finished or perfect. It will never happen. So stop trying to be perfect, try to be live.

A product/service is never perfect, if you’re familiar with the lean startup model, you know that you need to get whatever is ready into your users’ hands. Only then you’ll be able to REALLY understand what people want.

Developing your idea alone, in your room, in the dark, without telling anyone, after visiting some dodgy websites, is something you can do if you are doing it just for fun. But if you are putting your entire life into developing a solution for something, then you can’t do it alone. You need to share your idea!

Second learning, the perfect time is now. Yesterday is too late and tomorrow too early.

The third most common explanation we find out there, is that people are just scared of being criticized or their expertise being questioned.

If you’re not ready to be questioned and criticized, look for another hobby than entrepreneurship. You’re the biggest threat to your own project and remember that the frontier between a genius entrepreneur and a fool is tight. So it’s important to know about other people. Listening to people does not mean you have to do what they say. It means it’s important you can open up the discussion and help draw your own red lines.

Third learning. You can fool yourself easier than other people.

Now let see what happen when your share your idea.

First, you’ll get people’s feedback.

This is important, you’ll get feedback, ideas, suggestions and more by people who could become your next customers. There is a very good podcast from Tim Ferris discussing how important are people feedback in the creation of a product made to solve a problem #354: Real 4-Hour Workweek Case Studies Tim Ferris does a deep review of Santiago Nesterares & Bene Dohmen.  Both young entrepreneur come with a very unique way of understanding people feedback & working on product improvement. So first advantage will be for you to see new things.

Second, you’ll learn from people with similar experience

Don’t forget, we’re almost 7 billions people on earth. Meaning that the chance someone has already worked on a similar project are pretty high. So it’s a best practise for you to look at previous projects, contact people, do interviews with your competitors, talk to people in similar companies and learn from them. Experience properly used, makes a huge difference.

Third, you’ll get help.

Your mum and girlfriend or boyfriend love you but won’t know too much when it comes to your job (I mean, usually). On the other side, a lot of people will be happy to help a young entrepreneur to grow an idea that sounds interesting.

What do we learn from experience?

First of all, if you wanna share your idea please contact us or comment the post. We’re here to share your experience so others can benefit from it.

But let’s for now use on our own experience. While we were working on the first website, landing pages and content of we were already selling the idea around us. Contacting incubators, coworking space, people on linkedin, our competitors, similar websites. The idea is not much about “fake it until you make it” it’s more about we’re already here. So tell us what you think.

This gave us dozens of people to contact.

Those folks are more willing to talk to you especially if you’re coming through a mutual friend rather than a cold email.

This allowed us to understand our market.

Talking to our competitors as if we were journalists, potential employees, potential investors … helped us know more precisely what are they up to, why they do it, how many people are working there, how many years experience they have and so on

This pushed us to go faster.

It’s stupid but when you start telling people about your idea while not ready. You start stressing out and will go straight to the point. For ex. If you have time, you’ll start working on your branding and other bla bla. When the house is burning because people are already looking for the website, you’ll go to what is more important such as a first landing page, email setup, first draft of your idea and else.

So to sumup

  1. Why people don’t want to share their idea
    1. Scared someone will copy it
    2. Don’t want to share an idea that is not ready
    3. Don’t want to be criticized
  2. A few benefits you could could get out of it
    1. Get feedback
    2. Learn from similar experience
    3. Get help
  3. What happened to us
    1. Got more contacts
    2. Helped us understand our market
    3. Pushed us to prioritize better

A few books and readings to go deeper

  1. The lean startup
  2. Tim Ferris show #354

Any content you think we should feature here? Please comment it!

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